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7th graders are making faux profiles on our social network for the annual Great Mathematicians Project


The annual 7th grade Great Mathematicians project is underway. Dr. Sabrina Goldberg‘s students are currently fleshing out faux profiles for their assigned mathematician on The Social Network, our in-house social network powered by Elgg. This year, Don Buckley and I are asking kids to distill their mathematician into a graphic to be used on their digital profiles and on their physical poster.

DeCartes – Cartesian Plane
Newton – gravity, apple
Tesla – electric current, lightbulb, or lightning bolt
Erno Rubik – Rubik’s cube

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Setting up the 8th Grade Current Events group on our #Elgg social network

I just sat with the 8th grade science teacher and set up a group for her science students on our Elgg social network. Each student is responsible for hosting one weekly discussion about something newsworthy. They have to locate an article online, link to the article (by posting the URL), summarize the text, and post a series of follow-up questions. Their classmates then comment on the blog post as part of their classwork/homework grade.

Below are some sites I post to help the 8th graders looking for articles. Please let me know if you can suggest other web journals:







Here is a sample post from a student last year:


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Social Networking with Great Mathematicians


I worked with 7th Math students today to help them upload a faux profile on our in-house #Elgg social networking site for The Great Mathematican Project. They had to locate an image for the profile, flesh out the About Me, Interests, and Location sections before clicking each of their interests to see which other mathematician also shared that characteristic. They used Inspiration to create a concept map showing how their particular mathematician was connected to other mathematicians (through location, research, number theory, painting, education, etc.) and uploaded these files to their profile as well. Finally, students wrote a couple of blog entries with this character’s voice.


I love teaching and learning, and I was psyched to add to my eclectic body of trivia the following anecdote shared by one of the 7th graders: While working on the lovely and inspiring pyramid for The Louvre, Chinese architect I. M. Pei was spit on by Parisians! I paused the class to talk about the irony of the French denigrating the creator of one of their main attractions.

Read the student’s faux blog post below and the comment by fellow classmate, Stephen Hawking, here:


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